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First impressions: Klipsch RB3

March 10, 2003

Klipsch Resellers

Powerplant - Reference Series (898-1828, look for Nilo)
Galeria - Synergy Series (632-9110, 632-9111, look for Norman)

Klipsch Distributor

STUDIO SYSTEMS CORPORATION
#1000 J. BACOBO STREET
ERMITA MANILA 1103 PHILIPPINES
522-5698 (redkoji of PinoyDVD is the boss, Nilo reports to him)

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Quick Summary:

Pros:

  • Louder than my 89dB speakers
  • The mids are captivating
  • The treble is smooth
  • Sounds best on my single-ended 2A3

Cons:

  • Slooow *
  • Sounds lame on Rock Materials *
  • Bass lacks punch

This 94dB pair sounded noticeably louder than my 89dB Infinity Kappa 200, which is what i am looking for. Whether or not it really has that 5dB advantage over the Kappa, i am not equipped to measure.

The midrange is very good, but still bested by the Kappa in terms of detail and resolution (Jacintha's Moonriver). It could be due to the fact that the RB-3 has low hours on it (the vendor claims it must break-in for at least 20 hours). On a positive side, the mid range has more air, openness to it, quite captivating (Snow Rose, Keiko Lee and Carmen Cuesta tracks). It matched well with the single-ended 2A3 for these types of music.

Switching over to Jazz, i played Isao Suzuki on vinyl. Immediately, i find it to be quite slow though the performance is still there. Continuing on vinyl tests, i played William Ackerman's Passage, and again the music is soothing, with a little bit of bite on the guitar plucks. Next was David Lanz & Micheal Jones' What Child Is This piano version. It was played with "you are there" realism (this i ran out of words to describe).

Switching back to CD, i played Blue Man Group's Audio, and once more it is noticeable that the delivery is slow, and quite lacks the bass punch, again i would attribute this to its low hours.

Now time for some hard, rockin' music. I switched to the Anthem (ultra-linear push-pull w/ 4 x Electro-Harmonix EL34) and played Animal Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal." As I sat there speechless, completely awed by what I heard, I wonder how could it sound soo bad? Lack of dynamics, punch, sounds congested, wow, what a turn off. I changed the track to Pink's "Just Like A Pill" and even asked my wife for a listen (it is her CD, by the way) and she commented "walang dating." and now it's real sloow. Still speechless, i continue to change tracks, this time Scorpions' "Du Bist So Schmutzig", "Aleyah" but still got the same behavior. Changed tracks some more, but still it sounds so different i cannot bear with it. As the representative of Klipsch look at me and wonder "what's wrong with it?" I told him, this is how it sounds on the Kappa and switch over to the Infinity. Played the same tracks, as he murmor "iba nga ano, buhay na buhay dito, unang bagsak pa lang iba na." Well, we can only point to break in as the culprit.

Overall, i think it is a good performer on slow, easy going music like Jacintha, Keiko Lee, Carmen Cuesta, or instrumentals such as Windham Hill labels and the like, on my equipment.

* It must be on a terrible disadvantage of not being broken in with the right number of hours for the RB-3 to do justice on my other music.

Disclaimer: These statements are based on my equipment, my room. i am not making a conclusion about the product, i am merely stating the observations about it and the pros and cons were based on these observations. I would not call this a review, but rather a "statement of observations." However, this is the only section i find appropriate to post such.